Remember how Superman fought Doomsday and “died” at the end of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, even though we all know he’ll be coming back for Justice League? Longtime comic book fans know that this was a reference to the 1994 storyline Death And Return Of Superman, one of the most iconic moments in recent DC Comics history. Now the beloved comic arc is getting a brand new new adaptation that promises to be more faithful than previous iterations, just in time for the arc’s 25th anniversary.
Of course, the reveal of a new Death and Return was just one of several film announcements made at the Batman and Harley Quinn premiere Friday night at San Diego Comic-Con. As Nerdist has previously reported, first up in 2018 will be Gotham By Gaslight, an animated adaptation of the classic 1989 Elseworlds title that featured a Victorian-era Batman tracking down Jack the Ripper. A write-up on the official DC website notes that the comic was only 48 pages long at the time, meaning that the movie will have to expand beyond the story of the original source material.
That spring will see the release of Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, which will be the first Suicide Squad-focused film to be set within the DC Universe Original Movies continuity (unlike 2014’s Batman: Assault on Arkham, which was actually a part of the Arkham video game franchise). According to DC, it will have a completely original story not adapted from a comic, and will feature an “amazing” voice cast, although no names have been revealed yet. Finally, the first part of Superman’s story, Death of Superman, will be released at the end of 2018, with the follow-up film Reign Of The Supermen (likely named for the gaggle of Superman-pretenders who tried to take over after his passing in the comic) set for early 2019.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first animated DC film to feature the Death and Return storyline; Superman: Doomsday, the very first DC Universe Original Movie released in 2007, condensed the whole story into a single movie runtime and cut out many fan-favorite moments of the original comic — although it did manage to keep in Superman’s badass black costume and his hilarious ’90s mullet, so there’s that.
Who doesn’t love a good mullet, I ask you?
Hair choices aside, it’s currently unclear currently whether the new Death of Superman and Reign Of The Supermen will completely wipe Superman: Doomsday out of the DC Universe Original Movie canon, or if they’ll figure out a way to make sure both stories work together. Given how committed DC seems to creating a more lavish adaptation this time around, I strongly doubt the latter, but you never know!
Which DC animated movie are you most excited to see in 2018? I’m a sucker for a well-done Superman, but I’ve gotta admit, seeing Mike Mignola’s artwork brought to life in a Gotham By Gaslight adaptation sounds groovy. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and keep checking in for more SDCC news at Nerdist!